Nothing really went well in Thursday night's game: Starting pitching, fielding, hitting. James Shields did not have one of his better outings, which was needed yesterday as the Rays struggled to score runs.
The scoring started in the top of the third, when the Tigers opened up with two runs. Former Ray Delmon Young singled in the first run, then Alex Avila extended the lead to 2-0 with an RBI double.
Then in the fourth, Quentin Berry reached on a Carlos Pena fielding error, on a play that Brennan Boesch scored to make it 3-0. The run was still earned on Shields, however, as the scorers decided that Pena had no shot of getting the runner out at home.
On the very next play Miguel Cabrera singled into left field, but the speedy Austin Jackson was thrown out at the plate by Desmond Jennings.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Rays finally got to Detroit starter Max Scherzer. Elliot Johnson singled home Brooks Conrad to cut the deficit to two, in what would be the only RBI of the day.
The Tigers got that run back immediately, retaking a three-run lead via an RBI single by Cabrera.
The Rays cut the lead back to two in the seventh inning. With a runner on first, Brooks Conrad lined a base-hit to the left fielder Berry, who misfielded the ball allowing the Rays to score. Unfortunately, that would be the last run the Rays would get, as they failed to score with a man at third and nobody out.
Detroit tacked on one more in the ninth, when Cabrera belted a solo homer off of Wade Davis.
The Rays are now 40-36 on the season, and have lost seven of their last 10. Fortunately for them, however, everybody else in the AL East lost their games Thursday. Tampa remains tied with Boston 6.5 games out of first and 1.5 games behind Baltimore.
Notable Stat Lines:
- J. Shields (L,7-5): 14 H, 4 ER, BB, 6 K, E1 through 7.2 IP.
- J. Keppinger: 1-3, R, BB
- B. Conrad: 2-4, R
- E. Johnson: 2-4, RBI
Rays News and Notes:
- James Shields tied a club record with 14 hits allowed.
- It's official, Jeremy Hellickson (shoulder fatigue) will start Saturday.
- Kyle Farnsworth (elbow) is expected to be reactivated and join him.
- Sam Fuld (wrist) is nearing a minor league rehab assignment, according to Joe Maddon.
- Jeff Niemann (broken fibula) has started playing catch and is walking again.
- Durham's Brandon Allen is currently on the inactive list due to a family matter.
- David Price has had some tough matchups this year, but Friday night's is probably the toughest. Price (10-4, 2.95) will take on the reigning Cy Young and MVP Justin Verlander (8-4, 2.52), who's enjoying another great season. First pitch at 7:10 ET.
- The first 10,000 fans at tonights game will receive the most anticipated promotion of the year: The 'Zim Bear'. The Zim Bear has gone viral since February, and Don Zimmer finally spoke about it Thursday: